Rwanda and Genocide in the Twentieth Century

Rwanda and Genocide in the Twentieth Century

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The massacre of the Tutsis in Rwanda, argues Alain Destexhe, is the first incontestable case of genocide since 1945. Yet the term has been frequently used by the media to emphasise the horror of many of the world's mass killings: from Cambodia and East Timor to Somalia and Bosnia. *BR**BR*Destexhe demonstrates that genocide has a very specific definition and places the concept under close scrutiny, arguing that failure to limit the term to situations where it is clearly applicable under the terms of the UN Convention on Genocide detracts from the gravity of the offence. *BR**BR*It must now be reinstated as the most infamous of all crimes. Setting the study in its historical context by analysing the Armenian and Jewish genocides, Destexhe concludes that a failure to grasp the reality of the situation in Rwanda undoubtedly explains the failure of the international community to take adequate action.*BR*
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Product details

  • Hardback | 104 pages
  • 135 x 215mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745310427
  • 9780745310428

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION by William Shawcross

The Unlearned Lesson of History

1. The Crime of Genocide

Criminal Intention; The Necessary Distinctions; The Importance of Making Distinctions

2. The Three Genocides of the 20th Century

The Young Turks, Territory and Nationalism; The Nazis and Industrial Destruction; The Racism of the Hutu, The Old and the New; The Characteristics of Genocide

3. Hutu and Tutsi: Tribalism Without a Tribe

The Perception of Colour, Black and White; Promoting the Tutsi; The Belgian About-Turn and the 1959 Revolution; The Tutsi as Scapegoat

4. From Indifference to Compassion

The Shadow of Somalia; French Intervention, Atonement for the Past; The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention

5. Justice Must be Done

Individual Culpability and Collective Responsibility; Crime and Punishment; Britain, France and Belgium and Political Responsibility


Convention for the Prevention of and Punishment for the Crime of Genocide

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Review quote

'A treatise to counter the catch all of media coverage in which 'all catastrophes are treated alike and reduced to their lowest common denominator - compassion on the part of the onlooker' -- Observer 'An angry and eloquent book' -- Edward Mortimer, Financial Times
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About Alain Destexhe

Alain Destexhe is the former Secretary General of Medecins sans Frontieres ('Doctors Without Borders') and is a member of the Belgian Senate. He is the author of L'humanitaire impossible ou deux siecles d'ambiguites (Armand Colin, 1993).

William Shawcross is the author of Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia
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14 ratings
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3 14% (2)
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